MaltaToday previous editions

MaltaToday 10 May 2023 MIDWEEK

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 15

8 maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 10 MAY 2023 NEWS NEWS KURT SANSONE A gender parity mechanism to ensure greater balance between the sexes in local councils is being suggested as part of a planned reform in local govern- ment. The proposal is included in the National Strategic Vision For Local Government 2023-2030, published this week. The mechanism will be similar to the one adopted in the gen- eral election and will be intro- duced by next year when local elections are due. However, the new mechanism will have to be adapted to reflect the realities of local government that see voters elect councils with five, seven, nine, 11 or 13 councillors, depending on the locality's population. The vision is also proposing lowering the age of mayoral re- sponsibility to 16 from 18. To- day, 16-year-olds can vote and contest local elections. Howev- er, the law does not permit an elected 16-year-old councillor to become mayor. The vision also proposes the creation of mentoring pro- grammes for all elected council- lors to inform them of their obli- gations irrespective of their age. Another proposal is to ensure councils receive a percentage of income from events that create inconvenience for residents. It also proposes that commercial establishments and guest hous- es contribute to the locality they operate from. The vision includes sever- al other proposals, including the introduction of automatic cleaning toilets and a revision in usage fees. However, a consul- tation process will take place to establish the number of public toilets required in each locality and where these cannot be built, automatic cleansing mobile toi- lets be introduced. The vision proposes a cultural heritage audit for the different regions and greater digitalisa- tion of councils. It also proposes measures to encourage cycling and the pe- destrianizing village cores, while ensuring no negative impact on the communities. Local Government Parliamen- tary Secretary Alison Zerafa Civelli said the strategic vision is a "living document" and en- couraged local governments to continue building on it. Culture Minister Owen Bonn- ici praised local councillors for working to make a significant difference in their respective communities. Government unveils strategic vision for local councils, proposes election gender mechanism and allowing 16-year-olds to become mayors Bugibba breakwater gets ERA clearance THE ERA Board has unanimous- ly approved an application for the replacement of the old breakwater in Buġibba, including new passen- ger facilities for the introduction of public ferry services as an alter- native mode of transport to and from this locality. This ferry service is envisaged to help reduce road trips by vehicles to more sustainable alternatives at sea. The application for this environ- mental permit, which was filed by Infrastructure Malta (IM), was submitted to the Environment and Resources Authority follow- ing the issuance of the develop- ment permit by the Planning Au- thority. The applicant requested the re- placement and extension of the existing breakwater to include additional mooring facilities, new ferry landing facilities and a pas- senger terminal intended to fur- ther extend and diversify alterna- tive modes of transport through an additional public ferry service connecting this locality with Val- letta and other coastal localities. The ERA Board approved the works method statement submit- ted by the applicant and imposed several additional measures to en- sure the necessary protection to the area's environment during all the three phases of the proposed works. Government wants gender parity mechanism for local elections

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of MaltaToday previous editions - MaltaToday 10 May 2023 MIDWEEK